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  #1  
Old 06.10.2021, 15:41
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Feeding birds :)

We do not feed birds in Summer as it is best that they forage and eat natural foods and insects, a protein rich diet. But as weather got much colder all of a sudden- I have put sunflower seeds on all the feeders and birds are coming in droves.

Never had a wood geai before, but one is happily muching on the soaked raisins I've thrown on the grass. And along with the wagtails, sparrows, and tits of every kind (the only one we don't get here is the long tail- we had so many in our UK garden!) - the nuthatches are back. So happy about this as I have not seen a single one here last winter and during the whole year. How lovely.
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:00
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Re: Feeding birds :)

We only fill the feeders when snow covers the land. Otherwise they become too dependent on us and have difficulty when we cannot be about.
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:17
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Last winter, I hung two bird-feeders in our garden and one on the tree in front of our building, and found that the birds seemed to especially enjoy the "fat balls" during the winter. I also put out a bird bath last spring that they seem to enjoy.

It's nice to see them reappearing now, as they had been so quiet all summer. It made me wonder why the birds are so quiet in the summer and if that's normal, and why?
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:18
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Our city centre pet birds who complain if there isn't enough seed for them ...

Edited photo as I realize you cannot see them
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File Type: jpg Bird 2.jpg (27.0 KB, 82 views)
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:44
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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It's nice to see them reappearing now, as they had been so quiet all summer. It made me wonder why the birds are so quiet in the summer and if that's normal, and why?
They are probably tuckered out from the breeding season. Our Amsel sits in "his" tree quietly singing to himself...it's as if he's practicing for next year. It always goes rather quiet in late summer.

We've had nuthatches galore this year, and the Kohlmeisen are back in force.
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:46
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Funny that up here in the mountains, we have so many town sparrows- but in Neuch‚tel town centre, they are all tree sparrows (grey head versus brown head). In the UK tree sparrows are now very rare and localised- and my bil and sil in Surrey say they hardly ever see a sparrow now.

Bowlie, my neighbour comes in to feed the cat and always fills the bird feeders when we are away.

We get very different birds here depending on season and conditions. Only sparrows are a constant- and many are resident year round on our property- they even have an igloo in winter!

In Summer we have so many resident (in the barn) redstarts, swallows and house martins, and this year, lots of long eared owls- lots of red kites, buzzards, kestrels and even hobbies. In late autumn, all the tits arrive and the chaffinches, nuthatches and gold finches. And when it get really cold and lots of snow, bramblings and many others, like greenfinches.
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:55
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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Bowlie, my neighbour comes in to feed the cat and always fills the bird feeders when we are away.
We are in a semi-rural area, lots of foraging opportunities for the birdies. Donít think itís right to change their behaviour. I donít think we would be doing them a favour by encouraging them to hang around a farm cat infested area and be lazy.
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Old 06.10.2021, 16:57
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Yes, exactly what I said re only feeding when weather is bad. We are at higher altitude here, nearly 1000m, so conditions get cold, with loss of insects, earlier. We have even had a few night frosts- insects- gone.
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Old 06.10.2021, 17:12
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Re: Feeding birds :)

I think this summer there were lots of insects. No bird has stopped by my balcony.

Also, these days is harvest time. I think the weekend I saw several flocks of birds circling a harvester in a corn field not far from home. So, they're still quite busy in the farms
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Old 06.10.2021, 17:14
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Again, it depends on location and altitude. Up here in the Jura at nearly 1000m, we do not have vineyards or crops - only pasture. So when insects disappear after first frosts, then there is little left apart from fruits from rowans, etc.

No snow here yet, but it has started snowing in the Alps, so birds travel vast distances to find better feeding grounds.
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Old 06.10.2021, 20:37
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Live since 16 years about 10 mins walk from the ZH HB. It‘s very quite (except for the church bells), and was fascinated last year to watch and listen to a family of doves (well, they look like doves - but I suspect that they are wood-pigeons - from my WFH position on the sofa in a loft apartment.

I‘ve been watching them since years, and when they build their nest, I throw little twigs from my roof terrasse, which after careful consideration, and a lot of eye-contact, they pick-up. It was wonderful last year to see little beaks sticking-out of a nest in the house opposite, and the sounds of the parent birds communicating with their young.

Otherwise, have now seen that the woodpeckers are returning in the forest 10 mins walk above me, which is a nice change from the herons that snapped up a duckling before my very eyes a couple of months ago on my power walk.

The red kites are always a joy to behold, and are still here.

It‘s lovely that you can appreciate so much just in your garden - thank you!
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Old 06.10.2021, 21:22
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Re: Feeding birds :)

In our neighborhood we have a gang of young rowdy magpies, up to all sorts of shenanigans.
They are quite entertaining ...
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Old 07.10.2021, 10:26
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Re: Feeding birds :)

We do get many birds of prey here. Red kites and buzzards galore, but also sparrowhawks, kestrels and a pair of hobbies. They of course feed on the small birds we feed ... nature. Hobbies also love the huge dragonflies from our wild pond. And a large variety of bats at night.
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Old 07.10.2021, 12:06
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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...and was fascinated last year to watch and listen to a family of doves (well, they look like doves - but I suspect that they are wood-pigeons...
In your location, if they aren't city pigeons, they are likely to be Eurasian Collared Doves (columbo decaocto). It goes coo-Coo-coo. The wood pigeon is a larger bird and quite shy, with a 5-note song.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_collared_dove
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Old 07.10.2021, 14:45
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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In your location, if they aren't city pigeons, they are likely to be Eurasian Collared Doves (columbo decaocto). It goes coo-Coo-coo. The wood pigeon is a larger bird and quite shy, with a 5-note song.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_collared_dove
Thanks, these go Coooo coo coo, Coooo coo coo and I believe are the ones shown in your photo link. They are fascinating to watch - I can set my watch by their daily routine
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Old 12.10.2021, 11:12
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Re: Feeding birds :)

I wonder if the birds know something about the coming winter...

This last week alone they have gone through almost 20kg of seed! Obviously many are migrating, but even those that stick around, doves mostly, seem to be eating far more than usual. I've not seen this level of fall feeding in all the years I've been here.

Anyone else notice this?

Cold winter ahead?
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Old 12.10.2021, 11:23
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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I wonder if the birds know something about the coming winter...

This last week alone they have gone through almost 20kg of seed! Obviously many are migrating, but even those that stick around, doves mostly, seem to be eating far more than usual. I've not seen this level of fall feeding in all the years I've been here.

Anyone else notice this?

Cold winter ahead?
Oh I hope this is incorrect... my newbie wife and daughter are weather wimps (Western Japan is much much warmer - too hot for me) and I've been telling them that they will be fine. They were both wearing heat-tec, warm hats, gloves, and down jackets at various points on Sunday. It was no colder than 15ļ at any time.
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Old 12.10.2021, 12:19
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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I wonder if the birds know something about the coming winter...

This last week alone they have gone through almost 20kg of seed! Obviously many are migrating, but even those that stick around, doves mostly, seem to be eating far more than usual. I've not seen this level of fall feeding in all the years I've been here.

Anyone else notice this?

Cold winter ahead?
the only time i noticed a huge uptake in consumption was when the squirrels started to raid it
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Old 12.10.2021, 12:32
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Re: Feeding birds :)

Sorry, looks like it could be a cold one:

https://mkweather.com/winter-2021-20...1-2022-winter/
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Old 12.10.2021, 12:52
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Re: Feeding birds :)

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the only time i noticed a huge uptake in consumption was when the squirrels started to raid it
A squirrel vs a retired physicist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0LueiUkb9c

The solution? Capitulation. Not even a physicist can outsmart a squirrel.

Resistance is futile.
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